Breaded pork chops are a family favorite, and are simple to make at home. Breading will not stick to already-baked pork chops well enough to produce a consistent crust. However, you can produce the perfect pork chop by breading and pan-frying; breading and baking; or breading, pan-frying and finishing off in the oven.
1. Pan-Frying Method
Breading and frying the meat over high heat produces a beautiful browned crust, and seals in the pork's juices. Deep frying can result in a greasy pork chop with unnecessary extra fat and calories, however. A healthier option is pan-frying. Add enough oil to a frying pan to cover the bottom half of the pork chops, and heat to medium-high. Once the oil is ready, add the breaded pork chops and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn the chops and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the chops from the pan and allow them to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
2. Baking Method
Health-conscious cooks may be averse to fried foods. The crispy crust and moist center of a pan-fried pork chop can be duplicated with less fat and calories by baking the pork chops. Place breaded pork chops on a broiler pan and bake them at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 17 to 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 140 F. Remove the chops from the oven and allow them to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
3. Combination Method
Cooks who are concerned about fat and calories but don't want to miss out on the unique flavor and texture imparted by pan-frying can utilize a combination method. Begin by heating oil to medium-high in a frying pan. Place the pork chops in the hot oil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side to develop a golden brown crust. Transfer the pork chops to a broiler pan, and immediately place them in a 425-F oven. Finish the pork chops by baking them for 7 to 12 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 140 F. Remove the chops from the oven and allow them to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
4. Cooking Tips
Regardless of the preparation method chosen, pork chops should reach 145 F before serving. The internal temperature of pork chops continues to rise 5 to 10 degrees after being removed from the heat source through a process known as carryover cooking, so it's safe to pull the chops out of the pan or oven at 135 F to 140 F if you allow them to rest for a few minutes before serving them. Letting the meat rest will also allow the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more moist chop.
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